- Friday | May 27, 2022 to Saturday | September 10, 2022
- 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- Village Park N87W16749 Garfield Dr, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
The 2022 popcorn season got underway the Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, Memorial Fest was again a huge success as the 5 teams of sellers sold $1,960 of popcorn during the 10-hour day. That was the largest one-day sale ever, beating the 2021 Memorial Fest which was $1,650. A price increase provided most of the added income. Then on the following night things got started in the park with a concert by an Eagles cover band which provided great music. Sales were brisk, but not counted as of this writing. The wagon will be open every night hereafter until Sept 10th. After that we will again be open for beer garden nights as well as any special events, but otherwise closed.
A few reminders about working the wagon. The hours are 6:00 – 9:00, so workers need to arrive at about 5:45 so the first bag is ready at about 6:00. As in the recent past we will also have kettle corn for sale each night as well. Kettle corn is prepared by a 3rd party and ready for sale. Other processes are the same as previous years. For newer members, the club is divided into 15 teams that each work a Sunday to Saturday week. Each team has a captain who will have scheduled you to work. They will be present at 5:45 to help you get started and take you through the opening and closing process. Veteran poppers may just open on their own. There are written instructions about what needs to be done and are located on the front cover of a 3-ring binder which usually is found on the back counter in plain sight. If you don’t see it, look on the shelf below. This is very important since everyone is expected to close up on their own. It is easy enough, but the instructions insure you don’t miss critical functions like locking windows and the door and turning off the propane. It is best that even seasoned workers review the checklist.
There is a tally sheet on the back counter. So everyone knows, it is not necessary to mark down your sales, nor is it necessary to track tips separately. Each morning the Kernel (Larry) visits the wagon, counts the money and resets the box to $100, the starting amount. He writes in the total from the previous night. If you wish to mark your sales, that’s fine, but only for your purposes. Larry will often let you know what sales were, but not always. If you want to know, email him.
If you are new to the club, it would be a good idea to stop in at the wagon before you are scheduled to work and let the people working that night show you the ropes. It isn’t complicated at all, but like anything, needs to be done correctly. Like never forget to turn on the stirrer when restarting the popper, or you will quickly have very burned popcorn.
There are nights when special events occur in the park, like the concert last night. It began at 5:00, so hours had to be expanded to 4:00 – 9:00. Your captain will advise you when such things occur. Most concerts don’t begin before 6:00, but they still require some adjustment to hours.
The chairman of the popcorn wagon is Larry Podolske. If you have questions, want to work extra nights, or didn’t see the list of all the teams sent by Dan Schwind last week, contact him at either email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 262-255-6259. Or see me at the wagon as I’m often there.
2022 is off and running. Lenny & Debbie Kimmel are the captains for the first week. Stop up and say hello to whoever they having working. It also is a great chance to see what is happening as far as the building of the new children’s play area to the west of the stage arena. Things are really moving in the park.
~ Larry Podolske
Proceeds from popcorn wagon sales go towards the many programs support by the Club. Optimist Clubs are focused entirely on support youth programs like the Fishing Derby, Post Prom, college scholarships, essay and speaking competitions and most visible, the Independence Day Parade, along with many contributions to youth organizations.
Popcorn Wagon Chair: Larry Podolske
Popcorn Wagon Co-chair: Tim Newman